Push for plant-based diets possible as part of agricultural sustainability

It's a healthier option for all
It's a healthier option for all(KFVS)
Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 4:15 PM CST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 25, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST - Updated February 25 at 6:14 PM on

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Great Health Divide) - Tom Vilsack is taking another shot at being Ag Secretary and indicated he’s more open to agricultural sustainability.

This could mean turning to more plant-based diets.

Dawn Null, assistant professor of Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Southern Illinois University, said having a plant-based diet could help reduce the obesity problem in America.

“Plant-based diets as a whole are healthier, plants are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, they are low-calorie so a plant-based diet would be healthier for all Americans especially if they combine that along with lean meats and whole grains,” Null said.

“Eating less of the highly processed foods overall that will give us a healthier diet and hopefully help us as Americans become a little bit healthier,” Null said.

She said she thinks replacing candy and processed foods at grocery store checkout lanes with healthier options like fruit could help with developing healthy eating habits.

“I would find ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” Null said.

She also said taxing unhealthier options could cause us to buy the healthier, cheaper option.

“In soda machines, if we made the bottles of water a dollar instead of a dollar-seventy-five like the soda, we would probably sell more water,” she said.

Still, she recommended incorporating daily exercise into your routine in addition to healthy eating.

It’s estimated that two-thirds of Americans are overweight.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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